- Associated Press - Thursday, January 25, 2018

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (AP) - A former Long Island deli owner who gave away thousands of sandwiches to rescue workers in the aftermath of 9/11 will attend the State of the Union address on Jan. 30.

Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin invited Donato Panico to attend President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, surprising him at his office in Smithtown Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Panico closed Panico’s Community Market after more than 30 years in business to focus on his nonprofit Heros 4 Our Heroes, which provides food for first responders.

After Sept. 11, Panico spent 10 days straight at ground zero, serving first responders three meals a day and sleeping in his catering truck.

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